Cardiovascular effects of alcohol with particular reference to the heart.


Journal Article (Review)

Alcohol has acute and chronic cardiovascular effects. Acutely, alcohol depresses cardiac function and alters regional blood flow. Even when withdrawn from alcohol for several days, alcoholics may still manifest evidence of left ventricular dysfunction. In some alcoholics a severe muscle disorder may ensue with the clinical features of a dilated cardiomyopathy. The concomitant presence of a thiamine deficiency or cirrhosis may produce hemodynamic changes that can obscure the clinical features of alcohol-induced heart muscle disease. Alcoholics may also develop acute myocardial infarction with patent coronary arteries; some may have cardiac arrhythmias even without other evidence of heart disease. Although epidemiological studies suggest that moderate users of alcohol have fewer coronary events than teetotalers, such studies also demonstrate a relation between alcohol abuse and hypertension and an increased occurrence of coronary disease. Thus, the injurious cardiovascular effects of alcohol must be considered when establishing recommendations for its use.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Friedman, HS

Published Date

  • July 1, 1984

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 333 - 339

PubMed ID

  • 6399213

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6399213

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6823

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0741-8329

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0741-8329(84)90057-0


  • eng